“Echoes – Part II”
== Vulcan Surface ==
Darkness surrounded Ambassador Ian Lamont as he pulled his uniform jacket firmly about him in the steadily dropping temperature of a Vulcan evening. Behind him on a dusty, gravel road lie a hilltop summit and beyond it the last tendrils of light from the hot Vulcan sun. This wasn’t how he intended to spend shore leave gazing at a setting Vulcan sun. In fact he had not planned on taking much leave content to rest aboard the Charon after a difficult and trying mission the effects of which would remain for perhaps a lifetime. His own experience had been eye opening. He had nearly been killed at the hands of the Romulans. He had been thrust into the seat and responsibilities of command. He had been given orders to perform a specific task which had evolved into the defense of the Vulcan homeworld and its people from a horrific threat. Such responsibility had nearly brought about the destruction of the Charon and its crew. And yet, by some miracle they had all survived.
Recent event weighed heavily upon the ambassador as he slowly made his way alone down a dusty, dirt road toward an unknown destination. He struggled to put the recent past into perspective still astonished he had made it through alive. Lamont stopped and knelt down grabbing a handful of Vulcan earth between his fingers feeling its texture before allowing the sandy soil to slip away through his fingers on a gentle breeze. The soil that gave birth to the Vulcan race could have also been responsible for their demise as it was the Vulcan’s who had set the stage for their own destruction by developing a technology that the galaxy was not yet ready to use responsibly; even with cool, unrelenting Vulcan logic behind its development and use. The Vulcan people had almost been erased by a madman, advanced technology, obsession, and passionate emotion. Lamont had played a part in the epic tale and would forever be enshrined in Vulcan history as a hero.
Hero. What was such a person bestowed with that title? What qualities did they possess? He had always wondered and yet continued to wonder. He was no hero. He was nothing more than a vane, outspoken, and difficult diplomat who caused more trouble than he generally solved. And yet…he had somehow stumbled into events and now had to adapt to their outcome. The word hero was reserved for individuals who against all odds risked everything for something or someone greater than themselves. He was just a diplomat who had followed orders under difficult circumstances in less than ideal conditions. In his mind, heroes were individuals like Lt. Brent Warren and his team of marines who had fought off Romulan boarding parties in brutal hand to hand combat or perhaps even Pilot Leon Athalla who had also stymied Romulan troops. The entire Medical staff were heros having been responsible for saving lives, easing suffering, and even now continuing with treatments, rehabilitation, and care for the wounded with relentless determination day by day, hour by hour. His part was inconsequential compared to the sacrifices and actions of others.
Lamont kicked a nearby stone which rolled down the path toward a small cluster of lights. A small Vulcan village glowed in the growing darkness and lie in the Ambassador’s path which had no specific direction. Returning to the Charon while possible at any time wasn’t an option for now. He needed to remain here though he could not explain why. Something was holding him on this planet as if an answer to a question lie somewhere waiting to be discovered like buried treasure. He had no map, no information to guide him, just a feeling he could not put words to but which ran into the deepest places of his heart.
== 30 Minutes Later – Vulcan Village ==
Lamont opened the door of the village’s only inn and went inside. His fairly regular conversations with Commander Tyrax had been useful in honing his Vulcan language skills which had grown weak with disuse in recent years. He was greeted by a Vulcan woman where he asked for a room to spend the night. After a brief conversation Lamont was shown a small, Spartan room with a bed, a lavatory, and little else. The room was quiet, devoid of distractions, and offered a place to think and rest away from a bustling ship filled with repair crews, engineers, duties, communications, paperwork and other distractions which prevented the mind from exploring thoughts to their fullest.
He was handed a small lantern which provided the only light and was quietly left in peace within the room’s four walls. Ian set the lamp on the floor near the mat which appeared to be the Vulcan equivalent of a bed. Everything about the room was worlds less pretentious than the man who now inhabited it. Ian pulled off his flashy uniform jacket and dropped it over a chair. He proceeded to remove his shoes and belt before lying down on the bed and extinguishing the tiny lantern’s light.
The hour was early still yet darkness had fallen and the ambassador felt compelled to rest in the peaceful silence. He was alone to contemplate questions, search for answers, and gather perspective on recent events. His thoughts soon merged one into another until they finally faded into the surrounding darkness the ambassador drifting into the quiet, comforting arms of sleep.
== Sometime Later ==
Vulcan words invaded his consciousness. He struggled to translate them as they lacked coherence. Fragments assaulted him, but slowly they grew longer into words and then sentences. Sleep faded as did the comfort it provided. Vivid images of dreams filled his mind their splendor fading with each passing moment as they slowly fell apart like ancient paper turning to dust in an archeologist’s hands.
Ian’s green eyes slowly opened to reveal several Vulcan faces peering over him. A sudden wave of confusion mixed with alarm ran through him like electricity. He moved to sit up, but was held down by strong, firm arms and a gentle Vulcan tongue instructing him to remain calm.
Reluctantly, Ian consented and relaxed just enough to appease those around him. What was going on?
His vision slowly became more acute in the dim light of his room and he quickly recognized the face of the inn keeper who bore a concerned expression. Others in the room wore similar such masks. “What is going on”, Ian asked resisting the strong urge to sit up.
“Calm yourself Mr. Lamont”, an elderly voice replied to his inquiry.
Lamont searched the room for the voice eventually finding its source. It was the mysterious Vulcan from the hilltop earlier in the day.
“I..I don’t understand”, Ian stated again pressing against the firm arms which kept him horizontal on the bed.
A wave from the old man and the arms around him disappeared. Ian quickly sat up looking about him and checking himself for injury or some other reason that had drawn so many people to his room. Finding nothing of concern Lamont’s internal confusion only grew.
“What has happened”, he asked with a passionate voice. “Why are you all here?”
“So many questions. So many mysteries.” The old man spoke in cryptic words which did little to assuage Lamont’s growing internal alarms of trouble.
“We spoke earlier.”
“Yes I remember.”
“And again I will say fate has brought you here. However here you cannot stay. You require far more than the silence of a small inn room can provide.”
“What do you mean”, Lamont countered his tone laced with emotions he was struggling to keep in check still groggy with the after effects of waking from sleep.
“While you may have been asleep Mr. Lamont, your mind has not been. In fact it has been quite active. So active it has disturbed this village’s residents in these evening hours.”
“How so”, Lamont replied. “I’ve been asleep in this room. How could I have possibly disturbed anyone while…”
“Your body slumbered, but your mind, perhaps even your spirit was shouting. So loud were your calls it awoke several in the inn”
“How..how is that possible? I…I just…”
“You are a child of Nevasa. How or why I cannot say, but you are a child nonetheless. Vulcan flows within you even if you cannot sense it. Perhaps this is why you have come to us. Your spirit searches for help and for answers. We are but simple villagers I am afraid and cannot give you what you so desperately seek.”
“Seek? What are you talking about? I still have no idea what is going on!”
“Human emotion. I have read they can be quite powerful and unpredictable. I shall be direct then. Your unconscious mind had been reaching out Mr. Lamont. I sensed it earlier on the hilltop however tonight your calls became far more intense touching the minds of those around you. It was most disquieting to have such a novice, passionate voice reach out in the middle of the night in such a forceful manner.”
“Reach out…” Lamont placed a hand upon his head which danced with dreams and images than had yet to make sense. “You mean I…”
“Yes. You have the gift Mr. Lamont, but you cannot control it. You are like a small child who has discovered something new and who seeks understanding. However, we cannot help you. Silence will not help you find peace nor will the empty confines of a small inn room. You must leave at dawn and seek out the monks at T’Shen. Only they can help you find whatever it is you seek and bring peace to your mind which is burdened with many concerns.”
“But I’m not Vulcan”, Lamont exclaimed. “I’m human. 100 percent. I can trace my lineage back nearly twelve generations! There are no Vulcans in the Lamont family line! How can you say I am a child of Nevasa? My family has prided itself on its past. It defines us. It makes us who we are, who I am. I can assure you my past has no connection with the Vulcan race.”
“So sure are you? Is that human arrogance?”
Lamont bristled at the comment. “No. Not arrogance. Fact. Our family records are meticulous.”
“But not infallible?”
“No. Such an oversight isn’t possible. It can’t be.”
“Then who are you Mr. Lamont? How do you explain your presence here? I saw how you looked at Nevasa earlier in the day. It was not as a casual tourist. Furthermore, how can you account for reaching out with your mind and disturbing those around you? So sure of your past? What if there has been a mistake or perhaps some part which history failed to document?
“But…it can’t be. It cannot be…”
“Listen to logic Mr. Lamont, not to the confusing voice of emotion. Logic is most uncertain where emotion is allowed to flow unchecked. The facts are before you and you must accept them.”
Lamont closed his eyes hoping this was all some nightmare he was unable to wake from. After several moments it became clear his reality was no dream. Pride aside, vanity aside – he had to accept the fact he was surrounded by Vulcans and he was the cause of their presence.
“I may not agree with your conclusion”, Lamont offered, “but I am not so arrogant or illogical to refuse help and advice from those offering it. Where did you say I must go?”
“Pay a visit to T’Shen. The monks there can help.”
What help did he need? Was this old man and village elder to be trusted or believed? Ian was not a huge believer in Vulcan mysticism. It was part of their culture and heritage, but it had little to do with him or so he believed.
“We shall leave you in peace Mr. Lamont. I pray you can find the answers you seek. Live long and prosper.”
Before he could respond the Vulcans in the room quickly and quietly exited his room. Again he was alone his mind swirling with emotion, questions, images, and thoughts. His head dropped into his hands as he tried to make sense of anything and everything. How could the elder be correct? How could his family line be wrong? Nothing made sense. His knowledge of where he had come from and who he was had been steadfast and true as constant as the speed of light at least until now. Doubt had managed to creep into his thoughts and with it came fear. Fear of the unknown and the unexpected slowly overshadowed everything within his thoughts.
Rest was no longer to be found in this place. Peace too had deserted him.
Perhaps he would visit this T’Shen. Perhaps he would indulge the old man if it meant there was a chance at quieting the storm that swirled both within his thoughts, but also now within his heart.
[ To Be Continued… ]
Ambassador Ian Lamont
Diplomatic Advisor, USS Charon